Thecus N5200BR NAS Server Review with 5 drives in RAID 6Sat, Sep 06, 2008 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
When it comes to power consumption the Thecus N5200 doesn’t consume too much since it has just an Intel Celeron M processor running at 600MHz and 256MB of DDR memory inside. I pulled all the drives out and found that the storage server consumed 36W without any drives installed. With all five of the 150GB Western Digital WD1500 Raptor hard drives installed the idle power consumption jumped up to 93W. While moving files between the server and a client and running a benchmark the power consumption only jumped up to 103W, which was a bit of a shock.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
The Thecus N5200BR that I used in this article was my first time using a Network Attached Storage server and it was a positive experience at the end of the day. The setup took a little longer than I expected as building the RAID array could take many hours to complete. To build my RAID 6 array with five 150GB hard drives it took over 6 hours, which seems like a long time. After talking to Thecus they informed me that building a five drive array with 1TB drives could take nearly 15 hours to complete! Obviously, the time to build an array will depend on the drives, capacities and the type of array being built.
The use and features of the Thecus N5200 were impressive and this is partly due to the fact that it has been on the market now for well over a year. The firmware and setup wizard have been updated a number of times over the months and my testing went without any problems. I was a little nervous when I started building the server as the Western Digital WD1500 hard drives I used were not on the HDD compatibility list provided by Thecus, but the N5200 was compatible with them! When it comes to noise levels, the Thecus N5200 was right around 61dB when measured about a foot away from the unit with all the Western Digital Raptors inside spinning at 10,000 RPM. The reason we didn’t spend time testing the noise level is because it depends on what drives you use, and there are just too many out there to test them all.
When it comes to pricing, the Thecus N5200BR can be found for $684.99 plus shipping, which puts it just over $700 by the time it gets to your door. By the time you add in the five hard drives needed for a RAID 6 array you are easily over $1,000 for a setup like this. This may seem like an exorbitant amount, but you can easily spend that in data recovery if you backup to a single drive and it fails for some reason. Compared to other NAS servers on the market the Thecus is priced lower than competing 5-bay models from QNAP and Synology.
For those that want a little more power in order to complete building RAID arrays quicker the Thecus N5200BR Pro might be something to take a closer look at. The Thecus N5200BR Pro features a faster Intel 1.5GHz Celeron M Processor and 512MB DDR system memory. This results in even faster response and more concurrent connections. In order to get this performance boost the price jumps up to $799 plus shipping, so if you need more power take a look at that one.
Legit Bottom Line: The Thecus N5200BR is fairly easy to setup and has all the features that you need in order to back up your data and keep it secure, thanks to double redundancy.